Normal Life + RECIPE: Mashed Potato Fritter Benedict

Hi. Hello. How are you?

It’s been so long since we’ve talked. You know talked about regular life things and not just my greenhouse, my travels, or my insanely loving endorsement of local products.

Lately my life has been pretty normal. I’ve been reading a really good book and raving about it non-stop on social media. I splurged on a three-month subscription to HBO and succeeded in watching all of Big Little Lies and Girls before it expired, and cried much more than I expected when Girls came to a close.

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Let’s see. What else? I’ve officially removed “runner” from the list of words I use to describe myself due to a chronic knee issue that is not getting any better. I haven’t taken a run for four months now which has been an emotional journey involving quite a few tears and breakdowns, but am happy to say I’m moving onto the next phase of my life which includes as many hikes, push-ups and planks as I can possibly fit into my week (which so far has been like a really crazy amount). It actually feels pretty balanced and healthier than my former running life. As for the knee pain, I bought one of those foam roller things and continue to be optimistic it will solve my issue even though it hasn’t for the past six weeks. I’ve also developed a probably unhealthy level of obsession with Salt & Pepper Kettle chips since the last time we talked. Do you require more salt in your diet when you give up running? Is that a thing? I’ll have to look into it.

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So yeah, it’s been a pretty run-of-the-mill April. Books, great TV shows, kettle chips. All very average.

Oh and by the way we also interviewed ten people, hired two employees, seeded three beds of root vegetables and six beds of peas, transplanted another twenty beds of assorted baby plants, covered it all with row cover because nighttime temps refuse to get above freezing, dealt with a rototiller breakdown, sold almost $1000 worth of seedlings, and met with a half dozen chefs to chat about the season that’s beginning in like not very many days at all.
Geesh. No wonder I’m so tired.
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As usual, food has been my greatest source of pleasure and creativity. It’s my space to be free and stop for a moment to bask in the glory of the community we’re lucky enough to be a part of. The moments in between all the crazy have been filled with good food and as of late, lots of shared meals with folks we love. Last weekend there were two feasts inspired by Chef Justin Smillie’s cookbook Slow Fires (which is equal parts innovative, challenging, and beautiful). There have been countless trips to the new Good Food Low-Carb Cafe and one Easter brunch at Cow & Quince that was seriously epic.
With my Carrot working seven days a week and endless tasks to get done on the farm, Sunday brunch is the one meal each week that’s guaranteed for us as a couple. Where we can cook together, devour a huge meal in our sunny kitchen, and then retire to the couch to digest and connect on what’s going well, what needs some work and any tasks that need to be done over the next few days.
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We’re big breakfast people so the fact that most mornings give way to quick bowls of cereal or yogurt with granola leaves us with some major hankerings come Sunday. Bacon is always on the menu. Lately hollandaise keeps making an appearance, but it often requires a debate of whether we should go savory again or take a detour down the sweet path. Some (very hungry) mornings it winds up being savory with a side of sweet.
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The best Sunday brunch (outside of Cow & Quince, obviously) was one three weeks ago when we used leftover mashed potatoes to make Smitten Kitchen’s Potato Scallion Kale Cakes and then topped them with bacon, asparagus, a fried egg and a generous portion of hollandaise sauce. The recipe (a.k.a. basic instructions on how to put together other people’s really great recipes with some basic breakfast ingredients) can be found below.
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April 30th Meal Plan:

Lots of spring love from your favorite farmin’ gal,
Leek

MASHED POTATO FRITTER BENEDICT
This is a meal that uses a lot of pans. I always try to use the minimum number of dishes possible but that’s just difficult here. What I’m saying is, you are going to end this meal with plenty of dirty dishes. This meal also includes a couple fancy techniques. I really hate doing this to you, but some meals are worth it. This brunch is certainly one of those meals. And by the end you’ll know how to make fritters and hollandaise sauce (and have a new simple technique for making bacon) so please forgive me. I hope you have great success and fall even deeper in love with Sunday brunch. 

Serves 4
Takes 50 minutes (more if you have to make mashed potatoes first)

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes, cold is fine (actually it’s better)
8 kale leaves, stemmed and finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
8 eggs, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2-4 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
8 pieces bacon, preferably thick-cut
1# asparagus
2 teaspoons cold water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
Cayenne pepper, optional, to taste

  1. Prepare mashed potato fritters. Combine leftover mashed potatoes, kale, garlic, breadcrumbs, 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl until well-mixed. The batter will be pretty wet.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Add bacon. Place in non-preheated oven. Set oven temperature to 400 degrees and timer to 20 minutes. Check after 18 minutes if using regular (non-thick cut) bacon. Remove to a paper towel to drain grease.
  3. Drain majority of bacon grease and add asparagus to baking sheet. Sprinkle with a a generous amount of salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes.
  4. Add bacon to In a large skillet (preferably cast-iron or something that can go in the oven), heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat until it glistens. Add a 1/4 cup of batter (it can be heaping) into 4 piles with some room between them. You don’t want them to be crowded so if you can’t fit the 4 then just do a few more batches.
  5. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until the bottom of the fritter is golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Flip gently and then press down with your spatula to make a pancake. Cook another 4-5 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Place on a paper towel, add remaining vegetable oil to pan (if you need it) and repeat with remaining batter.
  6. Prepare the hollandaise. We use the Julia Child hollandaise recipe because it turns out perfectly every single time. If you need a little more guidance on hollandaise, just click here.
  7. Separate two yolks into a small bowl (that will fit a top a small saucepan like a makeshift double boiler; if you have a double boiler, I guess you could use that but I have zero experience with these fancy things). Add lemon juice and water to egg yolks. Whisk off heat until pale and just beginning to thicken.
  8. Fill a small saucepan with 1/2-inch of water. Place on a burner and turn to high. Once boiling,  reduce water to a simmer and place bowl of egg yolks, lemon and water on pan. Whisk the eggs over the heat. They will continue to thicken and grow in volume. As this happens, add the butter while continuing to whisk. Keep whisking over the heat until mixture takes on desired consistency. It should be thick and creamy so that as you move the whisk through it, the mixture holds it’s shape every so slightly.
  9. Remove hollandaise and allow to cool.
  10. Turn oven heat up to 500 degrees. Roast asparagus 5 minutes longer until blackened in spots. Turn off heat, but leave asparagus in oven. Add fritters and bacon to oven while cooking eggs to bring back to temperature heat.
  11. Cook eggs to desired preparation. We fried ours to over medium. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Serve! Place two fritters on plate. Add two bacon halves to each fritter followed by egg. Top with hollandaise, a dash of salt and pinch of cayenne. Serve with side of roasted asparagus.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. OK! I’m starving now!

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  2. Hello, I wish for to subscribe for this website to obtain latest updates, therefore where can i do it please assist.

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    1. Leek says:

      Hello! So glad you are enjoying the blog! You can subscribe by going to the homepage and scrolling to the bottom. There’s a bar at the bottom for subscribing!

      Like

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